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Traveling This Holiday Season? Stay Healthy w/ These Simple Tricks

With the holiday season just around the bend, chances are that travel is also in your near future.

When faced with airplane food and long stretches away from home, it can be tricky to stay healthy when you’re on the go. While we love indulging in whole, local foods and specialties of the season year 'round, there's nothing worse than feeling guilty after downing junk food just because you felt it was your only option. Luckily, it's not!

Making wise choices and maintaining your healthy habits away from home doesn't have to be so complicated:

ON AN AIRPLANE

There’s a reason that plane food tastes like garbage: because it is. Even the so called “healthy” options are processed and preserved within an inch of their life so that they barely resemble food by the time they reach your plastic-wrapped plate.  Rather than being subject to whatever the airline has on hand, it’s best to BYOM (Bring Your Own Meal) from home. If you can’t bring a healthy meal or snack from home, you can often find decent options at the airport to buy and bring on the plane such as fresh fruit, whole nuts, and salads.

AT A HOTEL

Boutique hotels and Bed & Breakfasts aside, basic hotel breakfasts often consist of uninspiring spreads of packaged breads, sugary cereals and OJ from concentrate. When faced with continental options - look for plain yogurt and fresh fruit. Another sugar bomb is the juice. Unless it’s fresh, the nutritional value to sugar ratio of juice literally isn’t worth the squeeze. Boiled or poached eggs are the cleanest options, offering a boost of protein to start your day. A simple egg scramble is the next best thing, just resist the urge to go overboard as you can bet the kitchen’s not cooking with heart healthy olive oils or quality butter. If you’re a bread girl, look for a multigrain or whole wheat toast.

AT A GAS STATION

Where can you buy a pizza-taco-hotdog combo worthy of an SNL skit?  At most gas stations across America. But next to the neon colored chips and meat logs, there are actually a few healthier options for snacking on the road. Go for the banana by the register, and if you spy dried fruit, avoid preservatives and extra sugar by ensuring the package lists only one ingredient. Although trail mixes are often laced with extra salt and junky ingredients, simple nuts are a great choice (especially walnuts or almonds). Granola bars and protein bars are often full of sugars and preservatives, but keep an eye out for KIND BarsLara Bars and this incredible Empower Bar Collection, which are widely distributed and made of few and simple ingredients. If you’re in need of a refreshing pick-me-up, opt for unsweetened iced tea rather than soda and you’ll not only avoid a boat load of artificial ingredients and sugar, you’ll even pick up some extra antioxidants. If it’s the fizz you crave, sparkling water (even flavored Poland Spring varieties) are always a better option than soda.

EXERCISE ON THE GO

If there’s a gym at the hotel; make a point to use it first thing in the morning before the day gets too busy. If you’re staying at a house or would rather exercise outside of the gym, download an exercise app (there are zillions of other free ones to choose from) or find videos on YouTube of exercises you can do with minimal to no equipment (Equinox also has ideas). Even better: bring sneakers and take a jog or a long walk around the place you’re visiting; it’s a great way to see the sights and break a sweat!

Natalie Decleve is a bicoastal lifestyle correspondent and coach, specializing in “Inside Out Makeovers.” Find her herehere, and here!

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